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I want to buy a nunchaku. I saw some of them had one or two rings on the cord.

Why purpose does it server?

Examples:

Nunchaku with rings Another nunchaku with rings

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    I've seen a couple sources that suggest stabilizing the cord, being used as a different strike point and slightly changing the center of gravity, but nothing that I would regard as even halfway credible. – JohnP May 21 '19 at 14:02
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Just to quote one of the sources JohnP might be referring to (bolding mine):

Traditional Chinese Nunchakus are used to be made of wood and linked by a rope, but they’ve also been caught up by metal chucks linked by a chain which turned out to have better abilities. Nowadays, it is really hard to found such wooden Nunchakus.
Chinese Nunchakus have specifics features in comparison with common Nunchaku well known in the other part of the world:

  • Their chain is longer: it is about 15 to 20 centimeters.
  • Their weight is also higher: it is worth 350 grams.
  • They are well balanced: the weight is more focused on the top of each stick (near the chain) instead of their bottom.
  • They make sound: free metal parts or simply extra links inside the sticks make noise varying along performed moves.
  • Some of them have two free rings round the chain: on part of theses Chinese Nunchaku, we can found two little rings able to move freely along the rope. Theses rings have two main uses: they first lightly modify the gravity centre of the Nunchaku while performing moves making it more stable and, secondly, they allow performing specific moves only available with that kind of Nunchaku.

Unfortunately, that particular site doesn't go into details on how those rings might make things more stable, or what moves are only available with the rings.

On nunchaku with chain links, they have been noted to create an additional jingle as they travel up and down the chain. Lastly, I could see the use of a single ring to create a method for hanging the nunchaku off of a hook or nail that does not add additional wear to the cord.

Ultimately, I have a sneaking suspicion that, whatever purpose they might have served before, they're added because some people believe it's necessary for them to be there, or feel that they may distinguish the product, rather than any functional use.

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    Good source. However, I am sceptical (shocker!⸮) of its claims. – Sardathrion - against SE abuse May 22 '19 at 7:01
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    @sardathtion: Same. But the only other fence I've seen to the ring is on chain nunchaku, where it apparently creates an extra ringing sound. – Macaco Branco May 22 '19 at 9:24
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    Sean - Yes, that is one of the sources that I found. It was actually the more credible of the few mentions that were out there. There is a lot of conjecture around martial arts weapons floating around on the internet. – JohnP May 22 '19 at 13:36

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